Global environmental flow information for the Sustainable Development Goals

Water is a crosscutting issue across many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, there is one goal that is focused explicitly on water - Goal 6. Sustainable
management of water implies that, as part of water resources management activities, sufficient water is left for ecosystems so that they can continue to provide services to society into the future. This, essentially, points to the need to ensure environmental flows (EF) in order to meet the SDGs. However, in most countries, there is a lack of awareness of EF at multiple stakeholder levels, and a lack of consistent, easy-to-use, readily available EF data to feed into the SDG process. If countries are to implement EF-related SDG targets over the next 15 years, baseline EF information is a prerequisite, and a process to incorporate such information into the targets needs to be developed. This research study focused on making data on EF, and sustainable surface water (SR) and groundwater (BF) abstractions available at a global, regional and subregional level.